Florida Trail Association
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The Florida Trail

September 2020 E-blaze

September 2020
Byrd Hammock Archaeological Site
National Historic Landmark Along the Florida Trail
Potsherd from the Byrd Hammock site. Photo credit: National Park Service
Panhandle Trail Program Manager, Adam Fryska, writes:
Did you know that the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge contains one of the most important archaeological sites in the state? Just a couple hundred yards from the Florida Trail is the Byrd Hammock archeological site– a rare double village/burial mound complex dating between AD 1- AD 850. In 2019, the FTA partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and the U.S. National Park Service’s Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) to develop a plan to protect and share this site with the public. The FTA was awarded a grant from the State of Florida’s Division of Historical Resources to coordinate the creation of an interpretive webpage about the Byrd Hammock site in partnership with the Florida Center for Interactive Media. The website is now complete and can be viewed at byrdhammock.floridatrail.org.
SEAC also created 3-D scans of many artifacts recovered from the site, along with a virtual reality artifact explorer program to allow users to interact with the models. Owners of a VR headset can download this software from the Byrd Hammock website, and the FTA will be showcasing a VR headset with this software at future outreach and tabling events.
Our next step will be working with the St. Marks Refuge to build a short spur trail that will connect the Florida Trail to the village site. We’ll also create signage, kiosks, and other interpretive tools to help tell the story of the people who lived here. Once all of the improvements are complete, the FTA is looking forward to collaborating with SEAC and the St. Marks Refuge on school programs and educational trips to the site. With its close proximity to the Wakulla Beach Trailhead, we anticipate that Byrd Hammock will become a popular landmark along this section of the Florida Trail.
More details about the Byrd Hammock site will be published in our next Summer/Fall 2020 Footprint Magazine in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Layout of the Byrd Hammock Archaeological Site
2020 – 2021 Volunteer Work Parties
Volunteer Opportunities Now Available
with more soon to come!
We have Volunteer Work Parties posted for this fall and winter! Be sure to regularly check our Volunteer Opportunities page throughout the maintenance season as we will continue to confirm and post more work parties happening throughout the state.
Join our trail crews and become a steward of the beautiful Florida Trail. Our Volunteer Work Parties are a fun and unique way for folks to connect with Florida’s wildlands and play a role in maintaining and constructing our scenic footpath. Register to join today!
FTA Board of Directors
Nominations for the Florida Trail Association’s
2021 Board of Directors are now being accepted
Board Director, Darryl Updegrove, writes:
The call for nominations is now open for FTA’s 2021 Board of Directors, and we are seeking candidates for at-large Board Member positions and three Officers.
FTA has a 15-member Board. Nominations may be submitted for President, First Vice President Governance and Administration, Secretary and three at-large board members. The term for officers is two years, and three years for at-large positions, beginning after the annual meeting on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021.
The Nominating Committee will select the slate based on nominations received. A slate of officers and at-large Board members for 2021 will be voted upon via electronic voting beginning January 2021. In addition to this, we will include a mail-in voting option in the Winter Footprint. The election results will be announced at the April 2021 Annual Meeting. Serving on FTA’s Board of Directors is a rare chance to help the organization face challenges, provide creative solutions, contribute to a fast-growing trail program, and affect long-term positive change. Board service also offers you the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, to develop valuable skills in non-profit governance, gain unique experience and make lasting connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals.
Please consider serving on the Board and submitting a nomination for the 2021 Florida Trail Association Board of Directors. For more information on our current Board of Directors as well as the general and specific responsibilities of our board members, visit: https://www.floridatrail.org/about-us/ourboard/.
Please send your nominations to Darryl Updegrove at dupdegrove@gmail.com.
Nominations should include the following information:
1. Name of Nominee, address and contact information (including email address);
2. Brief statement or cover letter outlining why the nominee would like to be a board member;
3. Resume or short background on the candidate in question (work history, non-profit experience, involvement with the FTA, interests etc.); and
4. Reference (optional).
Thank You,
Darryl Updegrove
FTA Nominating Committee Chair
Latinxhikers Fireside Chat
In Celebration of Latinx Heritage Month
Latinx Partnerships Coordinator, Luz Lituma, writes:
In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, we’ve invited a few powerful women to be part of our Virtual Latinxhikers Fireside Chat on October 6th, 5-6 PM EDT. A big way to keep our traditions going and to create new ones is by sharing our stories! We’ll be sharing our unique stories, what hiking on trails means to us, and some of our most joyful moments on the trail.
Join us for this chat with panelists: Alexandra Garcia, Adriana Garcia (Co-founder Latinxhikers), and Angie Vasquez (Founder of Girls Who Hike FL). Luz Lituma, Co-founder of Latinxhikers and FTA & ATC Latinx Partnerships Coordinator, will be hosting.
Register to join the chat!: https://rebrand.ly/latinxhikersfiresidechat
National Trails Virtual Workshop
October 21st -29th, 2020
From the Partnership for the National Trails System:
September 22, 2020 – We would like to welcome you to join us at the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop! These are indeed challenging times along our National Trails System. With the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, so many schedules, activities, trail events, and trail projects have been placed on hold and altered to accommodate the safety and concern for trail workers, volunteers, and trail enthusiasts nationwide.
In addition, we are at a time when issues relating to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) have come into sharp focus and have been challenged throughout America. The Partnership for the National Trails System’s recent Statement of Inclusion and Statement of Solidarity have pointed to the need for the Partnership to put into action our commitment to making trail opportunities welcoming and available to people of all backgrounds. We acknowledge this is one step among many we have yet to take, but we are prioritizing these JEDI issues by giving them a central focus at the Fall Workshop.
We invite you to join us from October 21-29, 2020 as we explore the three workshop themes listed above and take the opportunity to meet our new Executive Director Valerie Rupp!
The PNTS Fall Workshop Planning Committee and the Workshop and Conferences Committee have been working together to make this a lively and compelling workshop. We are adjusting the format and presentations to include interactive and compelling lessons learned sessions. Our goal has been to provide some takeaways and concepts that you can apply at your trail system at the regional and national levels.
By using a virtual format and reducing the registration fees, we are looking forward to having an opportunity to engage more people. Please register today and continue to share this workshop information. We hope that the workshop will be a gateway to working with a broader array of partners from a diverse set of backgrounds, welcoming new ideas and approaches to our trails and community work.
And we want to say “Thank you!” to our Workshop Committee, Hosts, Sponsors and Federal partners. This workshop would not happen without you. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. We look forward to seeing you virtually in October!
RG Absher, Fall Workshop Chair
Your Links to the Workshop:
Ididahike 2021
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